Thursday, February 11, 2010

Elena, Woman of Courage: Review and Giveaway

Ah, the good old days! Doctors made house calls, rode on horseback to remote areas, and stayed up all night with ailing patients if necessary, bringing patients and family members needed care, comfort, and relief. Although I know there have been tremendous medical advances since the 1920's, such as the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928, sometimes I yearn for the days when doctors traveled to the homes of their patients, long before the days of health insurance and co-pays, crowded offices, congested hospitals, and confusing and costly medical bills.

However, the good old days really weren't so good for female doctors in the 1920's.

In the fifth and final book of this series by Linda Weaver Clarke, Elena, Woman of Courage: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho, the story focuses on the new doctor in town, Elena Yeates, who makes house calls, and also has an office for medical exams. She's seeking acceptance in the conservative western town of Paris, Idaho, in 1925. While Melinda Roberts wishes to switch from her old doctor to the new, female doctor, the menfolk are quite reluctant to. Elena is scoffed at and taunted, particularly by Mr. Anderson, who calls her a witch doctor and an old maid, because she's twenty-six, unmarried, and the wrong sex to be a doctor, and the other men are quite skeptical of her. That is, except for one. In the continuation of this historical fiction series, the Roberts' son, John, a "confirmed bachelor", is entranced by the new woman in town, who just happens to be the new doctor.

"As the men conversed, John watched Elena's every move and tried thinking of a way to get to know her. He had seldom been interested in a woman beyond the dance floor. He claimed to love the life of a bachelor and was too busy to court a woman, but for some reason, this woman fascinated him. There was only one problem; she did not seem to be interested in him."
~Elena, Woman of Courage, Linda Weaver Clarke

John feigns an illness and goes to see this lovely, half-Mexican, woman doctor with bobbed hair (a hairstyle some called disgraceful at the time) because of his interest in her. This story features members of the Roberts family and has many of the same elements I enjoyed in the author's previous books; it introduces a strong, independent protagonist, Dr. Elena Yeates, and includes an ardent romance between John and Elena. These books are enjoyable to read, and although they're wholesome, they're never boring. Linda Weaver Clarke is outstanding at presenting the characters' thoughts, especially when it comes to romance, and she captures the highs and lows of romantic life rather adeptly. The author also pays close attention to historical accuracy, enabling readers to learn about U.S. history in her novels. This book discusses the first female doctor in the U.S., Elizabeth Blackwell, who graduated at the top of her class in 1849, and set up her own clinic in NY because hospitals didn't hire women until years later. I enjoyed this story of adventure and romance set in the wild west, but I'm a bit saddened because this is the last book in the series, although the Author's Notes at the back of the book mentions that there's another series in the works.


And there's more good news! Linda Weaver Clarke is again generously offering an autographed copy of the first book in the series, Melinda and the Wild West, as a giveaway (US/Canada). To find out more about this book, here's my review.

-To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
-For an extra chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
-For yet another chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

Enter by 5 PM PST on Sunday, March 7. The winner will be selected randomly, and announced on Monday, March 8. Good luck!

Special thanks to Linda Weaver Clarke for sending me this book. Without a doubt, Elena, Woman of Courage counts toward the Women Unbound Reading Challenge hosted by Aarti, Care, and Eva.

46 comments:

  1. These types of books are always very interesting. Even though they are fiction, most authors do a good job at research and lend a certain amount of truth to their characters. This sounds like one I'd enjoy reading.

    reading_frenzy at yahoo dot come

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  2. I've enjoyed reading the reviews of her series and am going to see if my library carries them. They sound wonderful
    msboatgal at aol.com

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  3. I am already a follower
    msboatgal at aol.com

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  4. Please don't enter me I already have book 1 but I just had to stop by and say this one looks really good! I love series' with some of the first women doctors, they're always so interesting! Thank you for sharing info about the book!

    xoxo~ Renee

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  5. I can't help thinking of Little House In the Prairie as I read this. I love the setting.

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  6. this sounds just wonderful thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

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  7. Almost forgot to mention:
    I'm a follower!

    reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

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  8. I've got this posted over at Win a Book for you Susan. No need to enter me.

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  9. This is turned out to be a good series after all! I like strong women characters!! SOunds like a great book!

    I am glad you liked it :)

    This series is in my wishlist anyway!

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  10. Sounds like an interesting series! The premise reminded me a little of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Enjoyed your review!

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  11. I cannot imagine who strong and intelligent Elizabeth Blackwell had to be to get where she did. Great review!

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  12. http://twitter.com/PANASYNCOLTEN/status/9080774338
    not too sure if its open to CANADA but if so, please enter me as well

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  13. These books sound very good! I find it hard to imagine living in those times, where doctors made house calls and the gentlemen would court the women. It does kind of remind me of Little House on the Prarie.
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

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  14. Thank you all for your comments, tweets, and entries! This series does bring to mind The Little House books.

    Additional comments welcomed.

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  15. Alexia, I'm not familiar with the series you mentioned but I Googled it and it sounds intriguing.

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  16. I haven't read many western books, but one from a female point of view sounds quite interesting! Count me in!
    teagirl1 at telus dot net

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  17. Twitted!
    http://twitter.com/bcteagirl/status/9124610395

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  18. I haven't heard of this series but I will keep my eye out for it!

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  19. I am so enthralled by this series of books! they look like just the thing to suck me in and keep me up all night! I also really like the story behind this last one, and think that it would be really neat to read about a woman doctor during this time. Great review Suko! And please enter me in your giveaway, I'd love to win a copy of the first book!

    zibilee(at)figearo.net

    I am also a follower of your blog!

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  20. what's so appealing about this series is the historical aspect and wholesomeness you mentioned. would love to give this a read.
    i already follow you.
    i posted about this on my sidebar.
    vvb32 at yahoo.com

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  21. Thank you, Susan, for such a delightful review! You have touched my heart once again. Thanks for all your hard work in putting this together. Have a great day!

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  22. Love books like this especially since I live in Idaho. I would love to enter!
    nataliew2(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. I'm a follower
    nataliew2(at)gmail(dot)com

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  24. I would really love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a fantastic series . . . and I especially love how a woman doctor is featured in the newest of the series. I am a follower and my email address is laarlt78(at)hotmail(dot)com. Thank-you for hosting such a great giveaway!

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  25. I'd love to be entered.

    I'm already a follower.

    I blogged about it and here's the link http://socratesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2010/02/book-giveway-at-sukos-notebook.html


    yvone473[at]optonline[dot]net

    Thanks!

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  26. Thank you all for your comments, tweets, and posts--they are certainly appreciated.

    Linda, thank you for stopping by, and for your ongoing generosity.

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  27. This book sounds very good.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  28. I am a new follower.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  29. This sounds great, I would love to read it!

    misusedinnocence@aol.com

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  30. I'm a new follower. :)

    misusedinnocence@aol.com

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  31. Really hate to see this series end!

    I am a follower.

    See blog on this giveaway at: http://drbillsbookbazaar.blogspot.com/2010/02/have-you-read-linda-weaver-clarke.html

    Bill ;-)

    billsmith2003 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:
    http://drbillsbookbazaar.blogspot.com/2010/02/book-giveaway-emmys-equal.html

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  32. I am a follower and I can't wait to start reading this series. I have also tweeted and shared on Facebook.

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  33. I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  34. I am a follower of your blog.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. would be good to read sitting by the fire,,thx for contest..
    thehighflyer3(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  36. This is the first that I have heard about this series. I would love to start at the end then go back to the start. sharonaquilno at hotmail dot com

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  37. would love to win

    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

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  38. Sounds very interesting to me. I would really enjoy reading this book. Please enter me. Thanks!

    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

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  39. this does sound like a great series-I'd love to win

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

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  40. What an interesting looking book. I bet my girls would love it as well. Always nice to find a new series.

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  41. This sounds like such an interesting book. i would love to read it!

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  42. http://twitter.com/mannabsn/status/9957398385
    mannasweeps (at) gmail DOT com

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  43. I follow your blog on google friend connect
    mannasweeps (at) gmail DOTcom

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  44. Thanks for the chance!
    mannasweeps (at) gmail DOT com

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  45. I love all of the books I have read so far.Each one is better than the last! I am looking forward to reading this final one! I have the book, so I will leave it to someone else to win. Thank you for these wonderful stories!

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  46. Thanks for hosting a great giveaway!

    The title of the book hooked me! I grew up in Bear Lake, Idaho, in a little town called Montpelier and graduated from Bear Lake High. I wonder if the author lives there... that is so cool! Thanks!

    heather y
    click4cash4me@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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